Speaking at a virtual press conference after announcing the squads, Sharma said about Rohit, "As far as Rohit Sharma is concerned, he is the number one cricketer of our country, he is playing all three formats of the game. The important thing is how we manage Rohit, cricketers manage their bodies. From time to time we will be in discussion with Rohit. If such a big cricketer is leading the country, we as selection committee want to groom further captains, and grooming them under Rohit will be tremendous.”
Addressing concerns over the veteran cricketer’s fitness, the 56-year-old stated that it is hard to predict what problems can arise in the future. He asserted, “Rohit is fit and fine right now. We will give rest to every cricketer of ours, we want to give them proper rest. A body requires rest, we will see how things pan out and we will decide how will be getting the rest.”
On how long the selection committee are hopeful of Rohit leading considering he is already 34, Sharma said that, as of now, Rohit is a clear choice. He, however, added, “We will groom future captains under him, let's hope everything goes right and if things pan out how we want them to, it will be really good."
"If Rohit keeps leading for a long time, then it would be really good for us. But no one can predict it, as long as Rohit is available and fit, he will be the Test captain. When he wants to rest, we will give him the rest," Sharma continued.
Apart from Rohit being named captain, the other big development was Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane being dropped from the Test side after an extended lean patch. Asked to shed light on the decision, the chairman of selectors said, "The selection committee deliberated a lot on Rahane and Pujara. We told them we will not consider them against Sri Lanka but doors are open for them. We have told them to go and play Ranji Trophy.”
"They have served the country for so long. They can come back, why not? It's like a graph...Rahane hit a hundred yesterday against Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy. This is a process of managing...Who wouldn't be happy if they come back?" he added.
Team India’s Test squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, KS Bharat, Ravichandran Ashwin (subject to fitness), Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav and Sourabh Kumar
--By A Cricket Correspondent